Jeff Schultz sees Mark Fox and tries to get inside the head of Greg McGarity.
It didn’t matter that Richt won the regular season’s final four games. Most stopped paying attention before November — the fans who buy tickets, the boosters who write checks, the athletic director who had grown weary of failed expectations. As good a coach and wonderful a person as Richt was, he had lost too many of the games that mattered most, failed to take advantage of a weak SEC East Division and failed to win the conference championship for the 10th consecutive season after winning two titles in his first five.
So he was gone.
It’s worth bringing up this topic now because some have wondered why Mark Fox, the school’s basketball coach, is not gone.
I don’t know that it’s the majority of Georgia’s fan base. Infernos on social media, message boards and sports talk radio don’t qualify as a scientific sampling. But the question of why Richt was fired and why Fox is staying is a worthy one.
I hoped to get some insight on this subject from athletic director Greg McGarity. He was the man who chose to affirm Fox’s return a week ago in strange way: With a line thrown into a statement that had been put out ostensibly to smother a report that Georgia was doing due diligence on potential replacements. But McGarity, whose relationship with the media has grown prickly over the past year, continued to deny comment on the subject late this week, even after the Dogs’ season officially ended with a first-round NIT loss to Belmont.
Needless to say, when speculation’s all you’ve got, you ain’t got much.
Besides, it’s a mischaracterization to describe the attitude about Richt in the last part of the 2015 as one of folks tuning out. People were pissed, especially after watching the debacle of the Florida game plan.
Butts-Mehre thrives on the fan base not paying attention to sports other than football, because that leaves McGarity in the position of raking in the most bucks with the least amount of accountability. Fox keeps his job; Richt lost his. C’est la vie. The situation might be reversed if Georgia were Louisville or North Carolina. But it’s not and that’s why it really doesn’t matter to McGarity if Fox stays or goes.
It’s a helluva way to run a railroad, but you can’t say it isn’t a profitable one. All McGarity cares about is that if the football program doesn’t rise above the level that Richt set, he can’t be blamed for the lack of progress. All the rest, Mr. Schultz, is merely commentary.